Steep drop for Barbados in Doing Business Report

It has become more difficult to do business in Barbados over the past year with the country tumbling 13 places in the latest World Bank Doing Business Report, now sitting at 119th out of 189 countries.

The 13th annual report, which measured quality and efficiency, stated that Barbados “made paying taxes more costly for companies by raising the ceiling for social security contributions and introducing a new municipal solid waste tax”.

Government has since scrapped that controversial Municipal Solid Waste Tax.

When it came to starting a business, the report ranked Barbados at 100, pointing out that the process entailed eight procedures and an average of 18 days.

Construction permits required nine procedures and took more than a year – an average of 442 days, the report said, ranking the island 158th in this category.

To measure the quality and transparency of building regulations, Doing Business looked at whether the regulations were available online, available at the relevant permit-issuing agency free of charge, distributed through an official gazette or had to be purchased.

It showed that 68 per cent of economies had their regulations online, while Barbados was one of 16 economies that required them to be purchased.

Barbados was ranked 134 when it came to registering a property. The report said six procedures were required in that process and it took an average of 118 days for completion.

Getting electricity in Barbados takes about 87 days, during which time seven procedures must be undertaken. For that, the island was ranked 87.

Caribbean nations that ranked higher than Barbados in the 2016 report included Jamaica, 64; St Lucia, 77; Trinidad and Tobago, 88; Dominica, 91; Antigua and Barbuda, 104; the Bahamas, 106; and St Vincent and the Grenadines, 111.

Regional countries that ranked lower included St Kitts and Nevis, 124; Grenada, 135; Guyana, 137; and Haiti, 182.

Barbados was ranked 106th last year, behind Jamaica, 58; Trinidad and Tobago, 79; St Lucia, 100; Antigua and Barbuda, 89; and the Bahamas, 97; but ahead of St Kitts and Nevis, 121; Guyana, 123; Grenada, 126 and Haiti, 180.

However, in the 2014 report, the island was ranked 91st, ahead of Jamaica which was at position 94.

Singapore continued to be the country with the best ease of doing business ranking. New Zealand, Denmark, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden, Norway and Finland rounded off the top 10.

According to the World Bank, the best 30 performers in the report were not those with few regulations but those with “good rules that allow efficient and transparent functioning of businesses and markets while protecting the public interest”.

“Data in this year’s report also show that economies that have efficient regulatory processes as measured by Doing Business, have high regulatory quality. In addition, the economies that rank high on Doing Business indicators tend to perform well in other international data sets, such as the Global Competitiveness Index and Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index,” the World Bank’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Kaushik Basu said, pointing out that about 122 economies implemented at least one reform in the areas measured by the Doing Business Report.

The report said that while well designed regulation could facilitate transactions such as expansion, building permits or legal processes, badly designed regulation could make completing those transactions difficult.

Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss has repeatedly complained about the difficulty in doing business here, told Parliament earlier this year that too much bureaucracy and inconsistency in Government was affecting both international and local investors. Inniss had said complained that business facilitation seemed like an elusive dream in Barbados’ economy.

6 Responses to Steep drop for Barbados in Doing Business Report

  1. jrsmith August 10, 2016 at 5:24 am

    Why you cant be surprised , our politicians they are all a bunch of wankers..

  2. Adrian Loveridge August 10, 2016 at 6:23 am

    The Municipal Waste Tax was simply added to the Land Tax bills, so still payable for ZERO garbage collection if you are a business.

  3. Cisco Wolf
    Cisco Wolf August 10, 2016 at 7:05 am

    We love to see people standing in lines. Makes us feel important. Looking at you licensing authority, looking at you!

  4. BaJan boy August 10, 2016 at 7:19 am

    This big mouth boy touches on everything that does not concern him no wonder his Ministry is worst as he has no time to mind his own business..He thinks he is the British,knows everything and is just one of Freundel’s jackasses..

  5. The Negrocrat August 10, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    We should fire the pack of jackasses we put into the house.
    They just seem to go from bad to worst.

  6. Mervin Kellman August 10, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    When will the DLP realise that ( much to the people’s displeasure) they form the Government of Barbados. Identifying the problems is only part of their job. They were elected and reelected on the basis of their promise to fix this country’s ills. Good Governance, accountability, economic stability, cost of living reduction, listening to the voice of the citizens, making it easier to do business in Barbados, all these were pledged. Instead this proud Island which once punched mightily above its weight has been brought to a state of inertia and daily increasing despair by a clueless, gutless, sorry lot, which has done nothing in the cause of our people. They have demanded their salaries in full while the majority of the populace struggle to put food on the table. They have ruthlessly and without conscience removed thousands from the workforce, many without a hope of compensation for their years of service. They have stifled the Barbadian urge of ages for a solid education and if among their many uncaring acts there is one for which the DEMS should be made to pay it is this.


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